How to Make Bamboo Fabric

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Bamboo is a plant that grows quickly and readily, and it doesn't require much care. It's a resource. As with flax--from which linen is made--the process of making bamboo fabric, when done without chemicals requires time.

Things You'll Need

  • Bamboo
  • Stones
  • Boards
  • Clamps
  • Container
  • Water
  • Enzyme
  • Amine oxide
  • Filter
  • Spinneret
  • Drying rack
  • Comb
  • Crush the bamboo. Commercially, this is done with machinery, but you can do this at home as well as without machinery. Crush the bamboo between heavy rocks or between two plywood boards clamped together.

  • Put the crushed bamboo into a container and add water and natural enzymes. Allow this mixture to sit until the bamboo becomes soft and turns into a pulp-like substance. Drain the bamboo and let it dry.

  • Cut the bamboo fibers into smaller pieces and put them in a vat that's pressurized and contains water and amine oxide, a mild, nontoxic solvent. Heat the mixture and allow it to stay in the container until the bamboo fibers dissolve.

  • Pour the liquid through a filter, then through a spinneret, which is similar to a shower head. This will create long fibers.

  • Put the newly created fibers in a solution of water and amine oxide until the fibers become soft and usable.

  • Wash the fibers in water to rinse the solution from them. Hang them to dry, then comb out the fibers, separating them.

  • Spin the fibers into thread by hand, on a spinning wheel or by machine. Knit the thread to create fabric, or weave it on a loom.

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